The Economist


 Xi Jinping has been good for China’s Communist Party; less so for China 

Discipline requires loyalty. As an article in Qiushi, the party’s main theoretical journal, put it earlier this year: “there is no 99.9% loyalty. It is 100% pure and absolute loyalty and nothing less.” Institutions that fail to reach the required levels of grovelling feel the consequences. 

October 14th 2017

China's Future by David Shambaugh


China's Future

China's future is arguably the most consequential question in global affairs. Having enjoyed unprecedented levels of growth, China is at a critical juncture in the development of its economy, society, polity, national security, and international relations. The direction the nation takes at this turning point will determine whether it stalls or continues to develop and prosper.

Will China be successful in implementing a new wave of transformational reforms that could last decades and make it the world's leading superpower? Or will its leaders shy away from the drastic changes required because the regime's power is at risk? If so, will that lead to prolonged stagnation or even regime collapse? Might China move down a more liberal or even democratic path? Or will China instead emerge as a hard, authoritarian and aggressive superstate?

In this new book, David Shambaugh argues that these potential pathways are all possibilities - but they depend on key decisions yet to be made by China's leaders, different pressures from within Chinese society, as well as actions taken by other nations. Assessing these scenarios and their implications, he offers a thoughtful and clear study of China's future for all those seeking to understand the country's likely trajectory over the coming decade and beyond.



The Odd Reality of Life Under China's All-seeing Credit Score System

 In the UK, credit scores are mostly used to determine whether people can get a credit card or loan. But in China, the government is developing a much broader “social credit” system partly based on people’s routine behaviours with the ultimate goal of determining the “trustworthiness” of the country’s 1.4 billion citizens. 

 Rabid K-pop fans be warned. After obsessed fans caused serious delays at Beijing’s airport several times by rushing to meet their idols – including one incident where they managed to break into first-class – Chinese authorities passed a regulation that makes it possible to lower the social credit record of anyone found to have disrupted or blocked check-in counters and airport corridors. 

June 5th 2018